A Comparison Study of the Effects of Echinacea purpurea Ethanolic Extract and Mesna on Cyclophosphamide-Induced Macroscopic Fetal Defects in Rats

Document Type : Original Article


1 Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahwaz, Iran

2 Basic Sciences Group, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Shahid Chamran University, Ahwaz, Iran


There are some reports that the teratogenic effects of cyclophosphamide (CPA) can be prevented by application of antioxidant drugs and stimulation of the maternal immune system. Echinacea purpurea extract is antioxidative and immunomodulator drug. Mesna (Sodium 2-mercaptoethane sulfonate) is used for decreasing side effects of CPA, especially hemorrhagic cystitis. In this study, we compared the prophylactic effects of mesna and Echinacea extract on teratogenic effects of CPA.
Materials and Methods
This study was performed on 32 pregnant rats that were divided into 4 groups. The first group (control group) received normal saline and the other groups received CPA (15 mg/kg intraperitoneally) on 13th day of gestation. Mesna and E. purpurea extracts were administrated at doses of 100 and 400 mg/kg by IP injection, respectively, along with it and 12 hr later, after CPA injection. Rats were dissected on day 20 of gestation, embryos harvested and after determination of gross malformations they were stained by Alizarin red-Alcian blue method.
Cleft palate incidence was 38.46, 30.77 and 14.28% in fetuses of rats that received only CPA, CPA with mesna and CPA with Echinacea extract, respectively. In addition, skeletal anomalies incidence including limbs, vertebra, sternum, and scapula defects were decreased by Echinacea extract.
E. purpurea has significant effect on preventing CPA-induced malformations and better prophylactic effect than mesna on cases like CPA-induced cleft palate.


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